- April 15, 2022
- Posted by: Stratford Team
- Category: Economy
Mariupol — once a thriving port city of 450,000, now obliterated by shelling — will probably become the first major Ukrainian city to fall in the coming week, analysts predict.
Mariupol came under siege weeks ago, after occupying forces failed to seize Kyiv, turning their attention east and south. Now, the coming takeover of Mariupol signifies a “beginning of the probably more intense phase of the battle of Donbas,” said Samuel Charap, a senior political scientist at Rand Corp. The southern port citywould bridge the easternmost region of Ukraine and Russian-seized Crimea, allowing Russia to consolidate its gains, surround Ukrainian forces on the border of the eastern Donbas region and take control of the Sea of Azov coast.
“Mariupol is both a steppingstone to the encirclement strategy and part of the end game,” Charap said.
As Russia aims to solidify its grasp on the Donbas region, with its two separatist enclaves, capturing Mariupol would be…